Dave Allen from Gang Of Four

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by pil101, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. pil101


    Jul 8, 2000
    anyone familiar? I love his work on GOF's first album "Entertainment!" it is very different. It reminds me if Fugazi meets early PiL meets Joy Dision.
  2. Gang Of Four are getting lots of mentions recently because of the emergence of bands such as The Rapture and Franz Ferdinand- that sort of spiky-guitar-meets-dance-rhythms.

    will have to look out for Entertainment.
  3. Headroom


    Apr 5, 2002
    While I'll agree that "Entertainment" is the supreme GOF product, let us not forget the fabulous Sara Lee's funking up of "I Love a Man in a Uniform"!
  4. I bought the "Brief history of the 20th century" GOF compilation (intriguing liner note essay comparing the singer to someone realising he's a fraud when he reels off punchlines from last night's sitcom to friends he meets in the pub), which covers most of "Entertainment", and has clear credits for Sara Lee's bass work on later material.

    Dave Allen's playing is inventive, and quite loose in feel- a bit similar to Graham Lewis with Wire.
    it sounds like a P bass played with a pick on some tracks, and digging-in fingerstyle plus the occasional string pop on others- although Sara Lee used G & L's?

    bands such as the Rapture and Radio4 owe them a huge debt.
  5. I have been a Gang of Four fan since the '80's. I liked their angular approach. Not sure I believed what they were saying...but...

    I like Entertainment, but I think their best work hands down is 'Songs of the Free'. It's very different from 'Entertainment'; it has more textures and layers where 'Entertainment' is a pretty straight-up approach.

    Back in the day, we looked at those bands as a unit rather than a collection of players. I never really cared who the bassist was; I just wanted Gang of Four.

    I always thought most of those '80's punk/new wave bands played a little on top of the beat. I guess that's Ok considering the style and lyrical content.
  6. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Wasn't Dave Allen also bassist for GlassJAw?
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I saw these guys at a small pub in Ann Arbor in the late 70's or early 80's. I didn't know the titles to any of their tunes but,thanks to WCBN FM I knew the tunes.

    It was around the time that "Armalite Rifle" song came out.(one I did know)

    Yeah, they were cool.
  8. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    AMAZING band- Entertainment is a total classic. Hugo (their drummer) actually produced an album for my band and he's a great guy. I hear the GO4 influence in tons of modern indie rock.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I saw Gang of Four play several times in the 1980s and while I do like Entertainment, I always hated Dave Allen's tone on that - it sounds like he's using a cardboard box for a cab!! :meh:

    (I noticed how it was joint production - apart from him!! - i.e. the other 3 only)

    Anyway - the last time I saw them at Brighton University - they had Sara Lee and it was a huge improvment - really funky and she had fantastic rich tone. All the songs were improved with more energy and were so much more funky - loose and tight at the same time.

    I can't listen to the albums now without thinking about that gig....:meh:
  10. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    glassjaw's bassplayer is a different dave allen. the same dave allen from gang of four also formed shriekback. if any are interested.
  11. pil


    Feb 17, 2005
    Pimlico, UK
    He play's a stingray 4 these days - seen them twice, once at Shepherds Bush in January, and the other week at the Barbican Centre.

    I'm CERTAIN im buying a stingray - i was rocking out too hard to that sound not buy one...

    GOF have just released an album of [their own] remixes of some original tracks and it has a second disk of covers/remixes by The Others, The Rakes, Ladytron etc etc...

    It's called 'Return the Gift' - and well worth it for the second disk - but i was expecting a lot more from the main disc.

    Hopefully someones interested in that :smug: lol
  12. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    the first disc is re-recordings, not remixes.
    It definitely seems a bit odd. I can only surmise that maybe they're still in the hole to their original record company, so they're probably not getting any money from the remasters/reissues etc. Now they've rerecorded them for different company, they can get the royalties from this album.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Presumably on re-listening to the original albums they came to the same conclusion as me ...? :meh:

    That is - their live sound was sooooo much better than those recordings!!
  14. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    With so many bands using the Go4 formula, it was only logical for them to stage a comeback. I love Entertainment!, but I'm not going to pretent like I know a lot about them.
  15. pil


    Feb 17, 2005
    Pimlico, UK
    Yep thats what i mean't :bassist:

    And yeah, they we're incredable live - even as old men - im too young of been there first time around :(

    Granted the whole things just a cynical money making scam, but i dont really care, the whole world is one big cynical money making scam anyway.

    Call me a cynic...
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I saw them twice the first time around, in Brighton and they were incredibly exciting live - the guitar sound in particular was so unusual - spiky, brittle and rhythmic - but just going completely mad at at times!!

    And they were jumping around the stage with no regard to their own pesonal safety!! ;)
  17. pil


    Feb 17, 2005
    Pimlico, UK
    Yeah, the best bit the other night was when he tried smashing his guitar up half way through the gig - turned out he was too feable and carried on with it :D sent the rodie guy with the spare off packing!

    I dont dance, but i was at that gig (the fit art school chick next to me kinda helped with that one :cool: hehe)

    They still do it! Jon King was doing his impression of a frog on speed and then he pulled out a microwave and a baseball bat and played "drums" for us on 'He'd send in the Army'...

    Odd...but strangely gratyfying...just glad i was a fair way back :bag:
  18. new interview with Dave Allen-


    "Q. New Gang of Four songs?

    A. (Laughs.) I doubt it somehow. We'll never be given visas to work again."


    also an interesting note about Barry Andrews possibly working with Andy Partridge (XTC) again.